Sales & Marketing in Hotels-the next generation
- Brad BentonKeymasterFebruary 7, 2013 at 7:07 pmPost count: 148
We Are the Next Generation of Hotel Sales and Marketing Communications Professionals
By Leora H Lanz and Barbara Fischhof
Sales and Marketing in Hotels, the Next Generation = Truly Integrated Marketing Communications
As hotel sales and marketing communications have evolved, so have the approaches to client relationships used by sales managers and marketing directors become more intricate and interconnected. Today, our clients are more like socially connected “friends” than traditional clients. And the sales philosophy of old , when hotels were calling the shots – has done a back flip to one that is totally market driven.
Hotel sales and marketing is truly an integrated branding and communications effort – no longer “schmoozing” and “fluff,” but rather strategic and based on “connections” and “engagement” rather than “impressions.” Buzzwords like client outings, yield management, comp rooms and fam trips are from the past. Today’s marketing buzzwords include relationships, revenue maximization, social connections and brand advocates. While those leisurely make-a-deal golf outings may still take place, relationships with clients are ongoing and resemble a partnership if not a friendship, even involved in each other’s charities of choice and issues of social action.
Social media, direct and personalized, leads the pack. The hotel marketer’s new toolbox customizes, targets, and reaches each and every client or guest quickly and directly via text messages, Facebook and Blogs with comments right back at them.
The New Marketing Professional
What does this mean for the hotel marketing and communications professional/s we hire? What skills do they require to manage a more interconnected, powerful, complex and ever-changing web of marketing outreach in our burgeoning digital world?
The marketing professional you hire to manage your hotel or brand must be amazing! He or she must be strong in a multitude of disciplines with the skill sets and talents to support them, not to mention an insatiable interest in undertaking the “next big thing.” The leader of your marketing department must be a persuasive and a successful influencer, a strong story-teller and conversationalist, a strategic communicator for internal and external audiences, a relationship marketer, a creative and risk-taking leader, a team player and vocal ,participant and a social media guru – or at least not afraid of new forays into social media.
•This person must enjoy and be successful at multi-tasking and possess up-to-date digital skills;
•this person must feel comfortable in liaising with all levels of your entire organization, from operations and accounting to IT and digital communications; and make everyone feel as important as the next team player;
•this expert must be able to focus efforts with the satisfaction of all audiences as the primary goal;
•this person must embrace and understand social media and accept that it is an integral part of the marketing mix, AND be able to monitor, use, and combine it with traditional marketing techniques;
•this person must be as creative and innovative as the tools they use — the “go-to” for visualizing a project, seeing the whole picture and carrying it through, always on the prowl for the newest, the latest, the best; a great “visual merchandiser.”
•and this individual must understand public relations, community relations, brand building, advertising, website maintenance and email marketing.
OMG! Whew! Does this person even exist? Well, for the seasoned hotel professionals who have evolved into the sales, marketing and communications staff of today, these skills have grown with us. For the new recruits into our industry, the ease of using social media and new technologies to communicate that characterizes this generation, will allow these young people to develop their other required leadership skill set.
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